When Just Enough Is Enough To Be Fired: Page 2

Posted November 18, 2007
By

Eric Spiegel

Eric Spiegel


(Page 2 of 2)

I believe the answer is yes, it is a big deal. Because if you give on one rule, then you open up the door to others being challenged. Now if the rule is not working, then it should be revisited by management. Maybe core hours should start later – but that requires a business impact analysis. The rules were made with an analysis and they needed to be adhered to or there had to be consequences.

Think about it this way. If Susan was pulled over by the highway patrol for doing just a few miles over the speed limit, the officer can let her go with a warning or serve her with a ticket. If he only provides a warning, what are the chances she’ll repeat the offense? I’d say likely. On the contrary, if he serves up a ticket then she’ll think twice before speeding on that road again.

This behavior does not just apply to work attendance. What would you do if an employee consistently delivers projects a couple of days late, but the work delivered is outstanding? Or what if the employee doesn’t return customer calls on time, but when he does, the answers are on the money and the customers aren’t complaining? My guess is you have experienced many more behaviors that push the envelope on accountability.

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It simply is not easy to punish an employee that performs above average in every job responsibility except one area where they consistently under-perform. I’d suggest talking it through with them and helping them see the light – that their actions do have consequences.

If that doesn’t work, you can always go the Tom Coughlin route. The coach of the New York Giants will fine his players if they aren’t a few minutes EARLY for team meetings. I hope your discussions go better than mine did with Susan. She eventually switched to another department, where her manager let her come in as she pleased. Perhaps I lost a great team member by being a stickler for the rules, but I still feel like my position was correct.

And I should mention that I successfully made a business case to change core hours to start at 9:30 am, citing the pressure on employees to make it in by 9 am with increased traffic congestion, and that this was impacting their performance and job satisfaction. The early bird arrivers (who it turns out actually did arrive by 7 am) covered the pre-core hours for customer support.

Now I wonder if Susan will come back to my team? Would you?

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